Then end of term is nigh and I can hardly believe than in two short months Harry will be starting Reception, full-time. I have no doubt that he will settle in easily although I naturally expect some level of tiredness for the first term or two. He already attends the nursery attached to the school 2.5 days a week, wears the uniform and enjoys going. He clearly thrives on going and asks every day what day it is, is excited when it is a nursery day, disappointed when it is not even though we do lots of things with him!
At the beginning of March we had a bit of a wobble after his outgoing nursery teacher informed us that she thought it would be worth Harry having a Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) assessment. Just before she left on Maternity Leave, she confirmed that she had made the referral and again reassured us that it was more of an early intervention "just in case" measure, than obvious cause for concern.
As the months passed and the new teacher settled in, I frequently asked if Harry was meeting expected levels and if there had been any progress with regards to the SLT referral. Each time I was reassured that the school were on top of it and that there were no causes for concern in terms of his development.
Having been frustrated at the lack of progress in terms of SLT intervention and not knowing whether further support was required, I have arranged a private speech therapist to come to our home for an assessment on Thursday morning. I was then advised by my Auntie to get in touch with the SLT team directly, to check if they had received the referral and whether they could give me an idea of when I could expect an assessment. I was pleased to receive a prompt response but disappointed when it quickly became clear that the school have been at fault (for want of a better word). I was informed that the original referral was not made until the end of May (remember, the first conversation was at the beginning of March) and that in June the SLT team had requested further information, which has yet to be forthcoming.
I was further surprised when last Friday I received his report "grading" Harry in all areas as at 22-36 months, having turned 4 years old at the beginning of May. These areas include (but are not limited to) "self-confidence and self-awareness", "making relationships", "health and self-care" "speaking" and "understanding". Whilst I understand that ANY school report, much less one made in nursery, cannot possibly cover all angles, I was, along with other people who know Harry well, quite literally shocked at him being graded as at BARE MINIMUM 13 months younger than he is. The comments are nothing but positive.
My husband and I both show an active interest in what happens while Harry is at nursery and regularly ask questions. I have voiced interest in becoming a parent governor, the husband was among the first of the parents to volunteer as a helper on a recent outing. We both feel that there have been ample opportunities, instigated by one or both of us for perceived issues to have been brought up before. Why wait until now?
I know I shouldn't worry but I do. Not so much that Harry is potentially delayed, I know children do things at their own pace and everyone loves and adores Harry, commenting on how polite and happy he is and at this moment in time, that is far more important to me I am however concerned because this is the school he will be attending, I worry that this has given me an insight into the support and systems (or perhaps lack thereof) that are in place. I worry that we have made the wrong choice over school, perhaps we should have thought about things like this back in September when we put our application in. Things change and then we picked largely based on not wanting to have to uproot him yet again, something we still do not want to do.
I have emailed the headteacher, who I am sure will be none too pleased to receive my request for a meeting with a week left of term. I hope that we receive reassurance somehow, that my fears are somehow unfounded.
I am not in a place that I expected to be in. I want to look forward to the summer holidays, to be confident again in my choice of school. Instead I find myself fretting, concerned that my four-year old son's needs are not being met and wondering if he would be better catered for elsewhere.
Have you experienced a similar situation with your child? How did you handle it?